A fabulous find

I went downtown today to see if I could find some interesting chairs in any of the antique stores. I thought maybe there was a remote chance someone had gotten rid of a plain chair that would suit my needs. The idea of having a set of mismatched chairs that all share a few main features is appealing.

I parked in front of Merry’s Trash and Treasures, which is the biggest antique store in the universe. Well, maybe not, but they have like three storefronts…and when you go inside, the furniture is literally stacked to the ceiling.

With a selection like that, you’d think I might have come across something…but Merry’s stock runs more along the vintage American kind of furniture. I didn’t see anything that might have been brought over from China or Japan or inspired by those countries. All the wood had a natural finish, too, except for one old farmhouse set–so no black, which is what I need to match my table.

Also, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything in Merry’s that doesn’t cost $300 or more. I discovered this years ago, but somehow I had forgotten.

Unsure of my chances of finding anything at an antique store now that I’d seen Merry’s selection, I went next door to The Marketplace, which is run like a flea market; different vendors run different sections of the store. This place does not deal in very much furniture, but they have all those neat knickknacks and books and cooking utensils that you expect in a second-hand shop. I stayed because I love looking at vintage curios, and I figured that if I found something I used to own or something that reminded me of my childhood, I wouldn’t have a problem picking it up.

I had fun scouring the shelves. I came across some Charlie Brown and the Chipmunks glassware that we used to have when I was a kid, and there was some nice milk glass too. Nothing really stuck out to me, though, until I was heading back along the opposite wall and came across a beautiful set of Noritake china.

The dishes were trimmed in gold, and at the center of each was a cluster of blue flowers. I examined the set. Apparently it had once been a service for 12, but some dishes and saucers had been broken along the way, so that it was now a service for 10. One dish was chipped, and the floral design had worn away on several pieces. Still, it was in fairly decent condition, and the price was reasonable. I decided to think about it, and moved on.

After happily coming across a copy of The Truce at Bakura, my favorite SWEU novel, in the adjacent stall, I moved forward and found a lovely Queen Anne table…laid out with another gorgeous set of Noritake china. This was a service for eight, in perfect condition, and none of the pieces were missing. They were trimmed in silver and the design was pink flowers.

I was already sold on the set, but I moved on anyway, went upstairs, scanned other items. However much I tried, though, I couldn’t concentrate, and it wasn’t long before I was hurrying back downstairs to snag the set before someone else saw it.

Here it is:

Oh, I love them so! I really hated the thought of serving a special dinner on the plates we use every day. They’re good plates, but they are old and worn and you can tell. I’m so excited to have something so beautiful for special occasions, and to have found the set at such a great price.

As you can see, my table is ready for Thanksgiving. All I need now are chairs!